West Africa - SahelReadsWeekend

The Saharan “rezzou” of France

51Ux8u84epL._SY445_(BRUSSELS2) Written during the first four weeks of Operation Serval, this essay (*) aims to explain “ the modalities of an unprecedented French intervention in the heart of the Sahel ».

Under the direction of Thomas Flichy, a dozen contributors (around a strong core of Sciences Po. and the Coëtquidan Schools), assimilate the intervention to a “ rezzou ", that is to say, a rapid raid into enemy territory intended to plunder the opponent's resources. This is not an analysis of the current operation but to contextualize and make people understand the issues and circumstances of this war. The work recalls the interest in civil-military actions and the economic potential of Mali with its significant natural wealth. He questions the universalism of terrorism, a central question in the legal basis of intervention. Launched suddenly on January 11, 2013, the military operation Serval in Mali did not fail to arouse surprise. Above all, it marks a significant shift in French foreign policy in Africa and “ could lead France, after years of apparent disengagement, to regain its place in the African theater ».

The question of cooperation with other African countries is introduced, recalling the Ivorian Félix Houphouët-Boigny for whom Europe and Africa could not live, progress and prosper, independently of any exchange. Faced with the threat to Europe (and its strategic interests) represented by the arc stretching from Afghanistan to the Gulf of Guinea, “ it is up to France to propose to the European Union and the West African States a new form of diplomatic and military intervention, excluding the supervision of yesteryear and making local and national African actors responsible, in order to to ensure the maintenance of peace. »

Thomas Flichy (director), as well as Grégoire Mathias and Jérôme Pâris will be at NATO headquarters (Luns Auditorium) on Monday October 4 to present the work.

(*) Operation Serval in Mali, The French intervention decrypted, pby the Synopsis group under the direction of Thomas Flichy, Lavauzelle editions, €14,80, 123 pages.

Leonor Hubaut

© B2 - Bruxelles2 is a French online media that focuses on political Europe (powers, defence, foreign policy, internal security). It follows and analyzes developments in European policy, unvarnished and without concessions. Approved by the CPPAP. Member of SPIIL. Please quote "B2" or "Bruxelles2" in case of recovery Leonor Hubaut is a journalist. Graduated in international relations from the Free University of Brussels (specialization in globalization). She covers for B2 the work of the European Parliament, CSDP missions and African issues. Sahel specialist.